By Mwaka Emmanuel Lutukumoi
As Uganda strives to achieve the Vision 2040, President Yoweri Museveni decided to release a list of new Resident District Commissioners on the day the UPDF was celebrating Tarehe Sita, marking 33 years of existence.
Although the RDCs are required by Law to monitor and evaluate government programmes, they must ensure that services reach the community. They are the top most supervisory civil servants.
As they take office, they are faced with myriads of challenges and mixed expectations. The stereotype from opposition true and false is that they are simply there to promote the National Resistance Movement (NRM) interests.
True because they ensure that government action plan that emanates from NRM manifestos and President’s pledges are implemented.
If social transformation and the Vision 2040 is to be achieved, the role of RDCs are very fundamental in a country where the civil servants have lost directions and the moral sense of shame.
The RDCs form the best model of democracy, if they effectively execute their duties. They can make services reach the masses to meet the 21st Century challenges. The greatest challenge to any development is implementation and it is monitoring.
As 2016 Presidential and Parliamentary elections nears, the ruling government’s interest is the execution of promises made in 2011. Many programmes like NAADS, NUSAF, PRDP, plan for Modernisation of Agriculture (PMA) and improving house hold income to provide prosperity for all is rolling and the people are getting a great deal.
With strong monitoring and evaluation, surely the political wing of NRM can build on that. The new RDCs can be admired by the population, if they transcend the way of some of their predecessors who used logic of force not force of logic to execute their duties. RDCs have enormous powers as monitor, yet a restraint power can win hearts and create development. RDCs must be engaging and dialogue to dismiss the stereotypes surrounding their institution. They should lead by example and expose enemies of development through wit. They must not become neutral between law and disorder but build peace, harmony and better security in respective districts.
They must be aware of the audience they serve, the appointing authority who expects them to popularise through monitoring their services to the masses is their primary audience; the local audience includes thieves, thugs, prostitutes and the vagabonds who expect them to flash them off, the opposition who will never appreciate their function, and the international community who do not understand the model. Therefore, they should sober up, make a delicate balance not to be caught up between serving one public but sticking to their roles that will make all those with varied expectations’ satisfied. The Government can be more popular with sober witty RDCs whose task is to make the population happy and able articulate government programmes.
The writer is a Deputy District Commissioner- Lira